Giambi still weak; cancer tests negative

Updated: July 22, 2004, 6:50 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Yankees captain Derek Jeter missed his second straight game Thursday because of a small break in his right hand and probably won't play Friday night in the series opener at Boston.

Derek Jeter
New York Yankees
88 14 49 57 11 .278

Yankees manager Joe Torre watched his All-Star shortstop take batting practice, then decided not to use him in Thursday's game, a 1-0 win over Toronto.

"Hopefully, Jeter will be ready in a couple of days," Torre said.

Jeter, hit by a pitch Tuesday from Tampa Bay's Victor Zambrano, said he was fine, but then admitted that he always says he's fine. He said there was pain in the hand, but that the stiffness had lessened a bit.

"Any time you get hit in the hands, because there are so many bones, you never know how bad it's going to be," Jeter said. "It could have been worse."

Jeter is hitting .278 with 14 home runs and 49 RBIs.

First baseman Jason Giambi, his average down to .224 with 11 homers and 36 RBIs, spent much of the day at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center undergoing tests to find out why he has been feeling so weak. The 2000 AL MVP, who did not start in eight straight games from June 26 to July 4 because of an intestinal parasite, is in an 0-for-18 slump.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said cancer has been ruled out.

"Everything we've gotten back thus far is negative," Cashman said.

Cashman said additional results from cultures and other tests weren't available yet. The goal of all the tests on Giambi was to "get him peace of mind."

On the pitching front, right-hander Kevin Brown was scheduled to make another injury rehabilitation start, this time Sunday for Class-A Staten Island, weather permitting. Brown has been sidelined since June 9 with a lower back spasm and an intestinal parasite.

Torre said that if all goes well, Brown could rejoin the rotation the following Friday against Baltimore.

Mike Mussina, out since July 6 because of a stiff right elbow, played catch Thursday and said he probably will be allowed to resume throwing off a mound this weekend.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press